5 things to look for when buying sustainable stationery

Posted by Gavin Burrell on

How to choose eco-friendly stationery

We all want to lessen the negative impact we have on the Earth and the choices you make when selecting stationery can go some way to help. Lots of products may claim to be an ethical notebook or sustainable stationery but what do they really mean and what should you look out for when trying to make more considered buying choices?

The Notes range notebooks from VENT for Change are a good example of 100% recycled notebooks

100% recycled stationery

By selecting a notebook that is 100% recycled, you have the assurance that no tree will have been cut down to create your stationery and the carbon footprint should be a little less as a result. A pad made from 100% recycled board and card will typically have a paper or card cover, so is great for day-to-day notes but may not have the resilience needed for a long-term journal or notebook you take with you everywhere you go - you might want to consider another option in this case. 

Recycled paper can be rougher and more textured than virgin paper, so it's not always the best option if you like to use fountain pens or want to practice your lettering.

Rhodia pads are made from sustainably sourced paper

Sustainably sourced paper

Most modern notebooks are made from sustainably sourced paper - in the UK you'll often see the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) symbol to show the paper has been harvested responsibly. This means paper is sourced from forests that are well managed, ensuring planting of new trees for a sustainable supply for the future. The PEFC is an international body that does a similar job across the world, so if you see the PEFC symbol - on the back of Rhodia notebooks, for example - you can also be assured that the paper has been sustainably sourced.

For journaling or lettering, you may find that a good quality sustainable notepad is smoother and gives you better results than recycled paper.

Nuuna premium notebook with recycled leather cover

Recycled leather

When choosing a creative notebook, bullet journal or hard-wearing pad you'll want a cover that can withstand a few knocks and spills. One way to achieve this while still keeping an eye on sustainability is to choose a notebook with a recycled leather cover like the VENT for Change Make a Mark notebooks or Nuuna premium notebooks. These both have durable soft-touch covers that are made from recycled off-cuts of leather.

Vegan notebooks from Port West are FSC-certified, 90% recycled and 100% vegan

Vegan notebooks

If you're committed to living a life that minimises your impact on animals then choosing 100% vegan stationery is a must. More and more brands are choosing plant-based inks as well as sustainable paper sources but with a company like Port West, you're guaranteed all that in one. The Port West vegan journals are made from FSC-certified paper that is 90% recycled (100% recyclable) and guaranteed both acid and chlorine free and carbon neutral. Only vegan-friendly dyes have been used in the production

Karst notebooks are made from stone paper 

Ditch wood-based paper completely

Think that all paper needs to be made from wood? Think again. There are alternatives out there that are made from alternative materials as diverse as sugarcane, hemp, recycled textiles and more. It's even possible to make paper from stone - yes, stone! Karst notebooks, for example, are made from recycled calcium carbonate, producing a paper stock that's super smooth and completely waterproof. No trees are used in production, it cuts down water usage and uses 60% less power in production than traditional paper. Stone paper is certainly an unusual way of creating sustainable notebooks but worth considering.

 Shop for sustainable stationery at Pen Pusher


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